The Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) recently announced that it has resources valued at about $4 million EBSCOHost e-content which will be available for free to all Nigerian universities until December 31, 2016.
The Chairman, NgREN Board and Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okojie disclosed this information, adding that the e-content resources will include e-books, journals, academic magazines and so on.
Okojie revealed, “$4 million would grow the number of available resources in the nation’s university libraries and as a result, heighten research activities in the Nigerian University System (NUS).”
The NgREN chairman also encouraged universities to key into the opportunity, emphasising that by accessing the EBSCOHost e-content, Nigerian varsities stand a better chance of enhancing their position in international university rankings just as in the accreditation of programmes, where library holdings form a major component of the assessment.
He explained, “Universities in Nigeria are hereby encouraged to utilise these resources which are available on the NgREN at no cost until the end of 2016. Plans are underway to ensure that universities on NgREN continue to access EBSCO and other e-content beyond the expiration of the current service.”
Okojie further revealed, “NgREN was established in 2014 to provide an elaborate infrastructural backbone to interconnect all Research and Education Institutions in Nigeria and link them with other Research and Education Networks (RENs) worldwide.
“Since its formal launch, the NgREN has made significant progress in reducing the cost of bandwidth for subscriber institutions from an initial USD 1,260 per Mbps when the project took off, to USD160 per Mbps and to a present cost estimate of USD50 per Mbps, saving the universities a huge chunk of their resources, which could be channeled to other areas of need.
“NgREN has helped in the reduction of travel costs as a result of the video-conferencing facilities and capacity building cost savings through online and remote training modules,” he added.